A mountain caribou traverses an alpine ridge in winter. Behind him, a large clearcut fragments the subalpine forest just below treeline. Hart Mountains, BC. (David Moskowitz photo)

Funding available for caribou habitat restoration

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is now accepting grant applications

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is now accepting applications from the public for the Caribou Habitat Restoration Fund.

This fund was created through a $2 million grant from the Province of British Columbia to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to aid in caribou habitat restoration.

“Our provincial Caribou Recovery Program recognizes the need for a number of actions to help recover caribou populations, including habitat restoration,” says Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson. “Earlier this year we were able to direct funding to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for that purpose.”

Since the fund was first announced in April 2018, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has supported projects in the Kootenay-Boundary and Skeena regions designed to support caribou habitat. Approximately $1.5 million is available for projects in this funding round.

Human influence on the landscape – including forestry, mining, and roadbuilding – has altered caribou habitat.

Projects pursued under the fund will focus on restoring habitat through both functional and ecological approaches. Examples of functional restoration activities include planting trees, spreading coarse woody debris and installing fences to disrupt linear thoroughfares that advantage predators, whereas ecological restoration activities include encouraging native plants and trees that support the return of caribou habitat to its undisturbed state.

“Investing in habitat restoration is a key component of caribou recovery,” said Brian Springinotic, chief executive officer, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. “We are pleased to work with the Province to improve conservation outcomes for these vulnerable and iconic herds.”

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the HCTF website to learn more about funding priorities. Applications will be accepted until January 11, 2019and successful projects will be announced in spring of 2019.

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